BAGHDAD – A rocket was fired into the heavily fortified green zone of the Iraqi capital on Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling US Embassy, an Iraqi military spokesman said.
The obvious attack that Iraq's state news agency had done had no reason All the losses were due to mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf after the White House sent warships and bombers into the region earlier this month, one suspected To counteract unexplained Iranian threat
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It was the first such attack since September, when three mortar shells landed on an abandoned lot in the Green Zone.
The state made no immediate statement Ministry or US Embassy in Iraq at the attack on Sunday.
No one assumed responsibility for the attack that took place after sunset, when many Baghdad residents broke their fast in their home during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan] Associated Press reporters on the east side of the Tigris, opposite the Green Zone, heard an explosion after which sirens briefly sounded in Baghdad.
Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told the Associated Press that a Katyusha rocket had fallen near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the US Embassy. He said the military was investigating the cause but that the rocket was believed to have been fired by Ostbagdad. The area is home to Iranian-backed Shia militias.
Shortly thereafter, the rocket launcher was discovered by security forces in the eastern neighborhood of the Wihda, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak the media. The official also said that the roads leading to the Green Zone had been temporarily closed for security reasons before being reopened as usual.
The Iraqi state news agency said a Katyusha rocket crashed in the Green Zone without claiming any casualties.
As tensions between the US and Iran escalated, there was concern that Baghdad might be in the middle again, just as it is on the road to recovery. The country hosts more than 5,000 US soldiers and houses powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom are calling for the withdrawal of these US forces.
US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of Iraq to help fight the Islamic State Group after occupying large areas in the north and west of the country, including the country's second largest city Iraq, Mosul. A US-led coalition provided crucial air support as the Iraqi forces banded together to drive IS out of a costly three-year campaign. Iranian-backed militias, along with US-backed Iraqi forces, fought ISIS and gained influence and power.
In an escalating conflict between the US and Iran, Iraq is once again at risk of involvement in the power game. An attack on US interests in Iraq would be detrimental to the country's recent efforts to restore and regain its status in the Arab world.
On May 8, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embarked on a previously unannounced trip to the Iraqi capital after a sudden denial of a visit to Germany, telling the Iraqi intelligence agency that the US had picked up intelligence information that Iran's American interests threatened in the Middle East, even though he said two Iraqi officials said nothing.
A Few Days Later As tensions between the US and Iran continued to grow, the US State Department ordered all non-essential government officials to leave the country.
The employees of the energy giant ExxonMobil have begun to evacuate from an oil field in the southern Iraqi province of Basra.